“Blade Runner 2049” boasts such an enticing assortment of elements it’s frustrating that they aren’t assembled into a movie that fully delivers on its promise. Yet despite Ryan Gosling, a striking visual template and Harrison Ford reprising the role he played in the 1982 sci-fi classic, glitches mar this undeniably ambitious but drawn-out exercise.
Director Denis Villaneuve (“Arrival”) looked like an inspired choice to put a modern spin on this cerebral thriller. And in much the way that HBO’s “Westworld” brought fresh considerations to Michael Crichton’s movie, this 35-years-later sequel introduces ideas and concerns about renegade robots and artificial intelligence that feel very much suited to where we are now.
The movie, however, perhaps tackles too much, incorporating clever callbacks to its cinematic predecessor while seeking to carve out its own expansive narrative. The pacing, too, is somewhat off, with the first two thirds of the film — which runs 2 hours, 44 minutes — feeling a tad too leisurely, as if luxuriating in its futuristic dystopia, before rushing toward its slightly messy climactic act. Read more